Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Antibody

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Antibody

CPT Test code: 86803

Specimen: Serum or plasma
Volume: 1 mL
Container: Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, or lavender-top (EDTA) tube
Collection: If tube other than a gel-barrier tube is used, transfer separated serum or plasma to a plastic transport tube.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate
Causes for Rejection: Non-EDTA plasma specimen; PST gel-barrier tube
Use: Assess exposure to hepatitis C virus infection; test blood safety
Limitations: Since as many as 90% of commercial intravenous immunoglobulins test positive for hepatitis C antibody, an artifactual positive can result briefly after transfusion.
Additional Information: Following the development of sensitive and specific testing for hepatitis B, 90% of post-transfusion hepatitis is now hepatitis C. A gene product (c100) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was isolated and an assay for anti-HCV developed. The assay detects antibody to a presumptive togavirus or flavivirus which may be an etiologic agent of non-A, non-B hepatitis (which may not be a unitary disease entity).

For blood donors, hepatitis C serology correlates with surrogate tests for non-A, non-B hepatitis (ALT and anti-HBc). Since hepatitis C serology identifies a broader group of infected individuals than surrogate testing, it reduces risk of HCV during transfusion. Studies in hemophiliacs indicate that antibody to HCV is a reliable marker of HCV.

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